Combustion Engines
Synthetic fuels help cut consumption and emissions
The development of fuels goes hand in hand with that of drive systems. New alternative fuels provide further potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Since conventional fuels such as gasoline or diesel will continue to predominate for a number of years to come, their optimization is a top priority. The objective: universal availability of high-quality and sulfur-free fuels.
CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)
CNG (compressed natural gas) is a promising option for certain applications, since it has a lower carbon content than gasoline or diesel.
BTL (biomass-to-liquid) fuels
BTL (biomass-to-liquid) fuels will acquire increasing significance as soon as they are produced on a large-scale industrial basis. Daimler is promoting the development and application of largely CO2-neutral synthetic biofuels which make optimal use of the biomass, are free of sulfur and aromatics, and do
not directly compete with food and fodder production. They can be excellently matched to the requirements of the internal combustion engine.
GTL (gas-to-liquid) fuels
GTL (gas-to-liquid) fuels are the cleanest and highest-quality fuels for diesel engines after BTL fuels. GTL diesel is free of sulfur and can be well matched to the requirements of the internal combustion engine.
Hydrogen is the energy medium for fuel cell automobiles. The hydrogen used in the fuel cell reacts with oxygen to yield water. Until now, the world’s hydrogen requirements have been largely fulfilled by the reformation of steam from
natural gas. Since this hydrogen production process still gives rise to CO2 emissions as a result of the carbon content of the natural gas, appropriate economically viable processes for hydrogen production from renewable sources must be developed. 3
Hydrogen generated by this means is the fuel of the future, which in combination with the fuel cell ensures mobility free of pollutants and CO2. Environment-friendly hydrogen production processes include electrolysis using
electricity generated from renewable sources (at hydroelectric, wind, solar or geothermal power plants) and the gasification of biomass.
Biofuels of the first generation
Biofuels of the first generation, such as bioethanol or biodiesel (rapeseed methyl ester, RME), are suitable for the short to medium term as blend additives for conventional fossil fuels – within the range of concentrations suitable for the respective vehicles – as long as negative consequences for food production are prevented. Hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), which give rise to only few emissions and are produced on an industrial scale, are suited as an interim solution prior to the introduction of second-generation biofuels
and can be blended with conventional fuels without restriction in high quantities.
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